Big chance for Sevilla

> Spa­niards’ Cham­pi­ons League tie against Juve of­fers in­trigu­ing clash of coach­ing styles

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

SEVILLA’S wild-eyed, ex­citable Jorge Sam­paoli faces Ju­ven­tus’ phleg­matic Mas­si­m­il­iano Al­le­gri in a fas­ci­nat­ing clash of coach­ing styles in the Cham­pi­ons League to­mor­row morn­ing.

Both sides are un­beaten in Group H and seem set to qual­ify though Sevilla, on 10 points from four games, need a draw and vis­i­tors Juve, on eight, a win to guar­an­tee a last-16 place.

Should Sevilla go through to the knock­out stage, it will mean they won’t be able to de­fend the Europa League ti­tle which they have won for the last three sea­sons.

Sam­paoli has al­ready brought a breath of fresh air to La Liga, where his side have climbed into third place and beaten Atletico Madrid along the way.

Satur­day’s 3-2 win at De­portivo La Coruna, where they scored twice in the last five min­utes, was fairly typ­i­cal of their style which is not for the faint-hearted

The shaven-headed Argentine, noted for his ex­u­ber­ant cel­e­bra­tions, turned Chile into one of the most en­ter­tain­ing teams at the World Cup two years ago and made his­tory last year when he led them to their first Copa Amer­ica ti­tle.

Sam­paoli likes his team to play with a fast and fu­ri­ous style, sweep­ing for­ward in re­lent­less waves with seven or eight play­ers join­ing the at­tack.

De­fend­ing has some­times been an af­ter­thought, al­though he has given Sevilla some added steel at the back and they have yet to con­cede a goal in the group.

Juve’s Al­le­gri also likes his team to dom­i­nate pos­ses­sion but he is averse to risk-tak­ing and of­ten talks of the im­por­tance of “ad­min­is­ter­ing the match”.

He ad­mon­ished his side af­ter this month’s 1-1 draw at home to Olympique Ly­on­nais for chas­ing the game in the last few min­utes and leav­ing them­selves dan­ger­ously ex­posed. “We could have thrown our qual­i­fi­ca­tion down the drain,” he said.

Un­like Sam­paoli, Al­le­gri is es­tab­lished in Euro­pean foot­ball hav­ing won a Serie A ti­tle with AC Mi­lan and two at Ju­ven­tus, who he led to the Cham­pi­ons League final two sea­sons ago.

Sam­paoli could claim to be the moral vic­tor af­ter a 0-0 draw in Turin in the teams’ open­ing group meet­ing in Septem­ber. This time, the onus will be on Spa­niards, as Al­le­gri has pointed out.

Juve meet Di­namo Za­greb, who are with­out a point, in their final group game and can bank on get­ting the win they will still need if they lose to­mor­row morn­ing. Sevilla, on the other hand, face a much tougher final game at Lyon.

“I be­lieve that the match (on Tues­day) is more im­por­tant for Sevilla than for our­selves,” said Al­le­gri. “If we don’t beat Di­namo Za­greb at home in our final group game, then we don’t de­serve to be in the Cham­pi­ons League.” – Reuters

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